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  1. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: United States
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    I have about 5 hours of old video which needs help. It was originally shot using a VHS-C camcorder about 10 years ago. It was later directly transferred from VHS-C to Mini-DV tape using two camcorders. I want to edit & make home movies from this video using software similar to VideoStudio11, which I already have. To do so, I will of course have to first load the Mini-DV video to my hard drive.

    But before I start, my question is: How can I fix/enhance the quality of the video as part of this complex process - using GUI software if possible. I saw some thing online called "vReveal" which portrays the sort of enhancement that I hope to achieve. But I prefer free software where practical.

    It seems likely that there are other, perhaps better ways to do this, but I need to be pointed in the right direction by others who have already done so.

    Best regards, Richard
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2007
    Location: Canada
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    It depend on what exactly you intend to enchance or "fix" , but some free options are virtualdub with dozens of plugins.

    Avisynth isn't GUI based, but is very powerful and has great filters for just about everything as well

    Both are free
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  3. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
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    vReveal isn't very impressive. You want to use VirtualDub.

    Many articles in this forum, as well as at
    http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/forumdisplay.php/restore-filter-improve-17.html
    http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/showthread.php/virtualdub-filters-pre-1727.html

    For specific tips, you have to list specific errors.

    Being just 5 hours worth, consider seeking professional services for this.
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  4. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
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    Thanks Poisondeathray & Lordsmurf for your helpful replies. I'll be checking out these tips.

    Lordsmurf. I am not yet quite sure what needs to be enhanced, but I wanted to look into the possible options before I started. But from what I recall, the quality of the video itself isn't really that bad, the images are a bit less sharp, as if they were of a lower resolution & the colors could use more saturation. I believe it's mostly that it was originally shot in analog so the appearance doesn't look as good as the digital quality that we've become accustomed to seeing.

    I know the end result isn't going to be like video originally shot in digital, but any improvement will be welcomed. If you know, about how much would 5 hours of video cost to be professionally enhanced?
    Best regards, Richard
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  5. Member MOVIEGEEK's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2002
    Location: CA,USA
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    VideoStudio 11 can sharpen and increase saturation, maybe not as well as VirtualDub.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: United States
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    Thanks Moviegeek. I have tinkered with the filters in VideoStudio 11 so I know a bit about them.

    Some one suggested DeeMon Video Enhancer to me. What do you all think of it - compared to VirtualDub, VideoStudio 11, or other possible options?
    Best regards, Richard
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Location: dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
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    Originally Posted by rckowal
    it was originally shot in analog so the appearance doesn't look as good as the digital quality that we've become accustomed to seeing.
    There's not much you can do for this. Artificial sharpening needed to be done in the analog domain, before it was converted to DV. All you'll end up doing now is aliasing the video, and mucking up the interlacing, by trying to sharpen in software.
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  8. Member
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    Hi Lordsmurf,

    Well, all isn't lost since I still have the original VHS cassettes and I believe my son still has the camcorder used to shoot them. I understand sharpening from working with stills in Photoshop, etc.

    From what I gather then, it appears that I should use VirtualDub (with filters as posted in the Digital FAQ forum) then use those filters to sharpen, etc. in the analog domain?

    I haven't even downloaded VirtualDub yet so I'm still totally ignorant of what it does. Please tell me if I capture the analog clips using Virtual Dub or capture direct to my hard drive then process with VitualDub?
    Best regards, Richard
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  9. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2005
    Location: Chicago suburbs, IL
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    Originally Posted by rckowal
    Hi Lordsmurf,

    Well, all isn't lost since I still have the original VHS cassettes and I believe my son still has the camcorder used to shoot them. I understand sharpening from working with stills in Photoshop, etc.

    From what I gather then, it appears that I should use VirtualDub (with filters as posted in the Digital FAQ forum) then use those filters to sharpen, etc. in the analog domain?

    I haven't even downloaded VirtualDub yet so I'm still totally ignorant of what it does. Please tell me if I capture the analog clips using Virtual Dub or capture direct to my hard drive then process with VitualDub?
    No, if its on your computer, its digital. I believe Lordsmurf was suggesting something similar to a detailer or proc
    amp during the capture process to attempt to sharpen the image. Its more difficult to sharpen once the video has
    been digitized without creating other artifacts.
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2002
    Location: South Florida
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    VideoStudio Pro X2 has better enhancement capabilities than VS 11. I would upgrade to it. I have used it with success.
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  11. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: United States
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    Showtaper & Pepegot1, Thanks.

    The cost of detailers or proc hardware is prohibitive for my amateur home video project. As a result, I will have to settle for what can be done with what I have or can be added at minimal cost. Please remember folks, this is a low budget, poor boy project.

    Given these limitations, what would be the best option for me to use to try to enhance the sharpness & saturation (no matter how little it might be) of my Video8 analog tapes, or the Video8 transferred to DV tape? I have VideoStudio 11 &/or Virtual Dub. I also have the Video8 camcorder with which the clips were originally shot. I would consider upgrading VS 11 to VS ProX2 if it will enhance my clips noticeably better than VS11.

    Still confused but learning. Richard
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  12. Member buckethead's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2008
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    If low cost and/or free is a priority, I would definitely recommend virtualdub. Two of my favorite plug-ins are colormill and msu smart sharpen. There are tons of plug-ins available for free, so download and experiment to your heart's content. You'll develop a feel as you go ...
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  13. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Originally Posted by showtaper
    Its more difficult to sharpen once the video has been digitized without creating other artifacts.
    I know LordSmurf thinks that, but respectfully I think he's wrong - if you capture losslessly.

    You can do anything in the digital domain that you can in the analogue domain - and far more besides.

    The only "problem" is missing information - things that didn't get captured e.g. like sync pulses - which mean you can't TBC once the video is inside a PC.

    But 8-bit capture of VHS has already dragged all the miserable picture information into the digital domain, including what your proc amp and detailer had to work with.


    If you capture to lossy (including DV), then sometimes subsequent sharpening may increase block artefacts to make them visible.

    If you take typical VHS, sharpen it and boost the chroma, it'll look like worse VHS - and nothing like digital. You need smart noise removal, chroma repair, and maybe very gentle sharpening, to make it look like good VHS - and that's the best you can do.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  14. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Lossless or uncompressed -- once video is digitized, you lose a LOT of options on what can be done, when the source is analog video.

    What you know about still photography really does not apply to video restoration. The temporal aspect makes it at least 25x more complicated. My knowledge/experience/skills at video actually come second to photography -- there is not much overlap after shooting is done.
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  15. Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Artificial sharpening needed to be done in the analog domain, before it was converted to DV. All you'll end up doing now is aliasing the video, and mucking up the interlacing, by trying to sharpen in software.
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Lossless or uncompressed -- once video is digitized, you lose a LOT of options on what can be done, when the source is analog video.
    Since the first statement is plainly wrong, I doubt the veracity of the second. I'm with 2Bdecided on this - once captured as lossless, there are a ton of choices for cleanup available in software. If sharpening, obviously you separate the fields (or, better, bob the video) before then sharpening (gently) and reinterlacing. Most of the other cleanup should also be done with the fields separated.
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  16. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Let's be honest - VHS luma doesn't really need sharpening vertically (unless the original source did) - all the VHS luma damage is in the horizontal direction, and so can be fixed by sharpening horizontally only - hence no need to worry about interlacing at all.

    Chroma is a different matter, and slightly different NTSC vs PAL - and worse with multi-generation.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  17. Banned
    Join Date: Dec 2011
    Location: way East Europe (WEE)
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    Originally Posted by MOVIEGEEK View Post
    VideoStudio 11 can sharpen and increase saturation, maybe not as well as my VirtualDub.
    v1.9.4

    Virtualdub has no such thing as 'advanced ' sharp-ing capabilities. If you need professional Hi-Q quality get a programmer h3lp for a specialised plug-in done for you , or doo it yourself . ....t`s at a touch of your fingertips

    I wish you post a videosample to have common refference for quality you have pleaes
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  18. Member MOVIEGEEK's Avatar
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    Location: CA,USA
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    @ledishis,

    Yes there are plug-ins for VirtualDub that sharpen and I don't have to post a sample to prove to you what I know.
    http://compression.ru/video/smart_sharpen/index_en.html

    BTW: resurrecting an old thread(almost 2 years old) is looked down upon on VH.
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  19. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: New York, US
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    The best anyone can offer for suggestions will be highly general at this point. A very short sample clip is really what the forum needs to go any further. A few screen captures as quality JPG would be a minimum, since still photos don't really convey temporal noise or other problems, but a still is better than nothing. Right now readers have little to go on.
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  20. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    The best anyone can offer for suggestions will be highly general at this point. A very short sample clip is really what the forum needs to go any further. A few screen captures as quality JPG would be a minimum, since still photos don't really convey temporal noise or other problems, but a still is better than nothing. Right now readers have little to go on.
    Given the (nearly) two years since the original post, I don't think we need to worry

    Cheers,
    David.
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  21. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: New York, US
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    Oooooops. Forgot about that early post, 2B. My bad.
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